Microsoft Publisher: How It Applies to Today’s Remote-First Work and Education Environment

Compared to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, Microsoft Publisher might not appear to be an exceedingly useful tool, especially for remote work. However, creating publications—like printouts, emails, and even small newspapers—is a task that most businesses perform every day.

Microsoft Publisher might seem similar to Word, in that both focus on creating documents with lots of text. There seems to be a much bigger difference between Word and PowerPoint or Word and Excel than there is between Publisher and Word. However, the primary difference is that Publisher is built for page layout and design, whereas Word is meant for writing and proofreading documents. There is certainly some amount of overlap between the two, but each exists in a somewhat separate niche.

Microsoft Publisher competes most closely with Adobe InDesign, not Microsoft Word. However, Publisher is a lot easier to use than InDesign and it produces great results. Brochures, booklets, posters, and even pixel-perfect email publications are all types of documents that Microsoft Publisher is well-suited to design and build. Small businesses which cannot afford to hire a dedicated designer find Publisher to be a particularly useful tool for making professional-looking and aesthetically pleasing print publications.

One important reason for companies to use Publisher is its support for advanced color schemes, styling, and other features that are especially useful in print design. Publisher is easy enough for non-designers to use while also containing powerful functionality. For people who have no idea of how they want their publication to appear, Publisher also includes a large library of predesigned templates that can be easily customized to suit almost any need.

Unlike the other Microsoft 365 applications, such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, Publisher does not support the same kind of real-time collaboration. However, it does work well with SharePoint and Microsoft Teams, allowing teams to work together on Publisher documents with only slightly more friction than true simultaneous co-editing. Additionally, since Publisher is a powerful desktop application that would not be very useful on a phone or other small device, it does not offer mobile versions.

Schools—particularly those where all students have access to a Windows PC—can make use of Publisher in a variety of ways. For example, assignments where students make travel brochures can be a fun way to teach students about other countries and cultures. Designing posters and infographics are equally fun and useful skills for students to be taught. Various kinds of projects in most every subject can benefit from the tools contained in Microsoft Publisher.

In combination with the other Microsoft 365 applications, Microsoft Publisher is a huge asset to any business that needs to make publications. Small businesses and employees creating internal publications benefit the most from Publisher’s combination of an easy-to-use interface and powerful features for building complex publications. If you want to learn more about Publisher and other Microsoft 365 products and how they can be used in remote work or remote education, drop us a line. VForce offers expert consulting in all of these topics and more.